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Home cooking just what Rays need post break

Tampa Bay is 14-1 over its past 15 games at Tropicana Field
MLB.com @wwchastain

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays begin a stretch where they play 15 of 19 games at home, which is a good thing considering how they've played at Tropicana Field this season.

Since June 11, Tampa Bay is 14-1 at home, matching the best 15-game stretch in club history.

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays begin a stretch where they play 15 of 19 games at home, which is a good thing considering how they've played at Tropicana Field this season.

Since June 11, Tampa Bay is 14-1 at home, matching the best 15-game stretch in club history.

"I feel like we all feel like we do have an advantage at home," second baseman Daniel Robertson said. "[Tropicana Field] is not an easy place to come in and play, with the atmosphere and the dome."

Third baseman Matt Duffy also believes the Rays enjoy a home-field advantage.

"I have some friends I've played with or against across the league, and the common theme is, none of them like to come here to play for whatever reason," Duffy said. "The atmosphere, being indoors. ... Hitters don't like hitting here because the ball doesn't fly, especially to the gaps. And it's something without me having to ask about it, they'll complain about it. So I know it's on their mind when they come here."

The last time Tampa Bay had a 14-1 stretch at home was Sept. 28, 2011-May 4, 2012, and the last time the club did so during the same season was June 10-July 10, 2009.

The Rays have outscored opponents by 36 runs (68-32) at home during their current stretch and they have allowed two runs or fewer in eight of their past nine games at Tropicana Field. They are 26-17 overall at home and 23-30 on the road.

Trade talk
Major League Baseball's non-waiver Trade Deadline is looming, and as usual, plenty of Rays players dot the trade rumor landscape. Count Chris Archer as one of the names mentioned around the league in possible deals.

"Once July 31 passes, I finally can exhale," Archer said. "Because it's crazy out there and we have a few commodities that are wanted around the league. So when that's over, a few guys in this room, including myself, will be able to exhale and settle in and continue to play baseball."

Such rumors can be a distraction, but Rays manager Kevin Cash said the club deals with the situation as best that it can.

"Look, we've experienced that multiple times in the four years I've been here, and the best that we can do -- myself and the front office, and they've always done it -- is be very honest," Cash said. "We're going to hear a lot of rumors, we always do. Our front office has been very active, saying, 'Listen, it's our job to listen on every situation, you don't have to pull the trigger on every one, but you have to be mindful of what's being presented to you if it can help the organization right now and for the future.'

"With that, you're going to see some names pop up. I understand that, and I think when they do, and those conversations are needed, if it's easy to say, 'That's a rumor.' ... Or be honest with them and say, 'There are teams asking about you.' I think we owe our players that."

Worth noting
• With Wilson Ramos going on the disabled list, expect the Rays to bring up another catcher prior to Friday night's game against the Marlins. Adam Moore and Nick Ciuffo currently catch for Triple-A Durham.

• Tampa Bay is on pace for 35 one-run losses, while the franchise record for one-run losses in a season is 30 (2015).

• Only six players have been on the active roster all season without a stint on the disabled list or in the Minor Leagues: Matt Andriese, C.J. Cron, Sergio Romo, Mallex Smith, Blake Snell and Jesus Sucre.

• Snell's 2.27 ERA was the best in franchise history at the All-Star break, passing Jake Odorizzi (2.30) in 2015. Snell's 20 starts tied a club record and his 12 wins were tied for second most before the Midsummer Classic.

Up next
Nathan Eovaldi will start Friday when the Rays host the Marlins in a 7:10 p.m. ET contest at Tropicana Field. The right-hander, who is mentioned in a lot of trade rumors, struggled to keep his fastball down in his last outing on July 13, and got roughed up by the Twins for eight runs in 2 2/3 innings. Miami will send right-hander Dan Straily to the mound.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Tampa Bay Rays